Problem Gambling


The term “gambling” encompasses a wide range of activities that involve risking something of value (typically money) on an event whose outcome depends at least in part on chance. It includes betting on a football match, buying a scratchcard or spinning the roulette wheel at a casino. Although some people gamble responsibly, others experience significant problems with gambling. These problems may include: (1) excessive or compulsive use of gambling; (2) lying to family members, therapists or employers about the extent of their involvement in gambling; (3) a persistent attempt to get even after losing money in gambling (chasing losses); (4) stealing money from family or friends to fund gambling; and (5) jeopardizing important relationships, employment, educational or career opportunities for the sake of gambling.

Gambling is promoted by many different means, from wall-to-wall sponsorship of football clubs to social media ads. The tactics used are similar to those of consumer goods, such as Coca-Cola’s memory jogs and product placement in television shows or movies. But unlike Coca-Cola, gambling companies can’t rely on nostalgia to keep customers hooked.

It is important to remember that gambling products are designed to keep you gambling, and can be very addictive. It is also important to budget your gambling as an expense and not to spend money that you need for other bills or essentials. Some research has shown that physical activity can help to reduce the urge to gamble. Lastly, seeking support from a loved one or attending a self-help group such as Gamblers Anonymous can be very helpful.

Posted in: Gambling